Too Little, Too Late
AMD created much excitement around its Spider platform launch a year ago, but that excitement was quickly diminished by problems such as TLB errata on early core revisions, low processor clock speeds, a delayed chipset component, and the lack of a top-end graphics solution. All but one of those problems have been addressed: slower processor clock speeds continue to keep AMD in the mid-priced value market. Anything less than awe-inspiring overclocking results would have been too little to cure AMD’s ills, and so it is.
AMD continues to provide leading value in quad-core optimized applications, simply because its Phenom X4s are relatively inexpensive. But today’s comparison motherboards are mid-priced gaming platforms. Most games can only use two cores at most, and the one popular game that does use all four cores doesn’t do it very effectively.
Fortunately for AMD enthusiasts, the 45 nm Deneb is close at hand (as suggested by the submission of 45 nm Opteron scores to SPEC’s site). Even if the results we’ve seen from ACC today are unable to wholly redeem Phenom in the face of enthusiasts, it remains to be seen how that game will change once Phenom slips into a more svelte manufacturing process and AMD is hopefully able to scale clock frequency more aggressively.